‘There’s Gonna Be Bad Apples’: Police–Community Relations through the Lens of Media Exposure Among University Students


Recently, increased media attention has been given to tensions between law enforcement officers and the communities they police. An individuals’ opinions of law enforcement agencies may be formed from various areas, including their exposure to various forms of media. Here, we are interested in the types of media students are exposed to (particularly social media, television news, crime-related television shows). Through interviews with undergraduate students, we seek to understand how both an individual’s demographic characteristics and their media consumption contribute to how perceptions are formed on issues related to violence perpetrated by law enforcement, as well as against law enforcement. Future studies can build on the initial findings and be conducted on a broader range of community members.

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Except where otherwise noted, content in this journal is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Published: 2019-05-01
Pages:83 to 105
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How to Cite
Levan, K. and Stevenson, K. (2019) “‘There’s Gonna Be Bad Apples’: Police–Community Relations through the Lens of Media Exposure Among University Students”, International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, 8(2), pp. 83-105. doi: 10.5204/ijcjsd.v8i2.1039.

Author Biographies

University of Idaho
 United States

Kristine Levan is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Idaho. Her research interests focus on perceptions of crime and offenders, violent crime, and prison subcultures.

University of Idaho
 United States

Kelsey Stevenson graduated from the University of Idaho with undergraduate degrees in Sociology-Criminology and Psychology. She was the president of the UI Criminology Club and the Swing Devils of the Palouse, and her main area of interest is criminal law. She plans to attend law school in the fall.